Grading of timber is the process of sorting the timber based on the features present in the individual boards. Boards with fewer and smaller features are sorted into one grade while those with more frequent and larger features are sorted into another grade. The grading of solid hardwood flooring revolves around Australian Standard AS 2796 – Timber – Hardwood – Sawn and milled products.
AS 2796 provides for three grades and the only difference between them is the size and number of the features permitted. That said there are many grade names present in the marketplace which at times can seem confusing. It must also be considered that not all grades are available in all species or species mixes. In addition to manufacturer grades there are also specific industry grading rules used by some, such as prestige or standard and better grade. For clarification on timber grading talk with an NS Timber Flooring team member and see the difference in person at our Brisbane timber flooring showroom.
For clarification on timber grading talk with a NS Timber Flooring team member and see the difference in person at our Brisbane timber flooring showroom.
Select (also called Premium):
The cleanest grade option. The timber from these grades will provide a finished floor where the natural timber feature will not dominate the appearance of the floor. Some of the feature that is permitted can include short narrow gum veins in limited numbers.
Standard (also called Feature):
A medium feature grade option with the timber from this grade providing a floor that may have significantly more character than a Select Grade floor. To some degree this will depend on the features present in a particular species. In one species gum veins may naturally be prevalent while in another there may be few gum veins but past forest activity may be more prevalent. Therefore, this grade can be expected to have greater character than Select, and contain an increased amount of gum vein, past borer activity, knots and natural discolouration, adding to that natural floor appearance.
Rustic (also called Heavy Feature):
A high feature grade of timber where the finished floor contains boards with similar features to Medium Feature / Standard Grade but where the features such as gum veins may be longer and wider, and past borer activity may be more frequent. Again depending on the species, features will vary and in some instances boards meeting High Feature grade may only appear moderately featured and achieving a truly naturally featured floor.